Green Split Pea and Zucchini Soup with Rutabaga

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Better first plated split pea soupPulses are getting a lot of hype lately and for good reason. They are rich in nutrients and fiber, a terrific source of protein, and they are available all year long. Our split pea soup is made with zucchini and rutabaga- a root vegetable that is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. The combination adds an unexpected sweet and savory flavor to this hearty soup. We top each bowl with garlicky, crispy croutons giving each bite a delectable crunch. This soup is a meal in itself.

IMG_2669Rutabaga
The rutabaga adds a unique flavor to this soup.

croutons for soupWe make the croutons while the soup simmers.

Green Split Pea and Zucchini Soup with Rutabaga

6 servings

For the Soup:
1 ½ cups green split peas, soaked in water overnight or for several hours. Drained, rinsed in cold water and drained again
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ cups chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup peeled and diced rutabaga, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 ½ cups diced zucchini, cut into ½-inch cubes
7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
½ teaspoon turmeric
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Croutons:
½ baguette cut into ½-inch cubes (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

For the Soup
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Lower the heat and add the garlic and stir for 1 minute. Add the rutabaga and stir for 2 minutes more. Add the zucchini and sauté for 1 minute. Pour in the broth, add the turmeric and mix well.

Raise the heat to high, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 55 minutes or until the split peas are tender. Add 1½ teaspoons of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper.

For the Croutons
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the bread, oil, and garlic and mix together (hands work best for this) until the bread is coated. Spread the bread out on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until golden brown and toasted, about 18 minutes, flipping with a spatula halfway through.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls, top each with a handful of croutons, and serve.

3rd plated split pea soup

Kale, Tomato, and Cannellini Bean Soup

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Cannlini soup

This is such a hearty, healthy, satisfying soup — and it’s so tasty. Did we neglect to mention that it’s also incredibly easy to cook and inexpensive to make — and that it tastes even better the next day and the day after that? Need we say more?

Kale:Carrot

_cannellini_beanThis soup is chock full of vitamins and nutrients and so easy to make.

kale soup retouch

Pair it with a crusty bread and dinner is served.

 

Kale, Tomato, and Cannellini Bean Soup
Makes about 3 quarts (6 servings)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large carrots, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
1 quart low-sodium vegetable broth
One 28-ounce can puréed tomatoes
One two-inch Parmesan cheese rind (optional if you want to make this vegan)
3 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Two 15-ounce cans organic cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 bunch kale, stems and tough center ribs removed, leaves roughly chopped (about 6 packed cups)

 Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until slightly translucent, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the carrots, celery, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in the vegetable broth and puréed tomatoes. Add the Parmesan rind, thyme, bay leaves, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Add the cannellini beans and kale and cook for 15 minutes more, stirring occasionally, so that the kale wilts. Discard the Parmesan rind, bay leaves, and thyme. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste and serve hot.

Soup w spoon

Vegan Ramen Soup With Tofu

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Plated Ramen soupIMG_2211

The teenagers in our family are obsessed with ramen soup. We think part of the attraction has to do with how easy it is to make—that is, the instant kind—particularly for the ones who are in college and want a meal on the go! Add hot water and your soup is ready. Of course the packaged version is filled with salt and lots of preservatives with names we’ve never even heard of before– precisely why we set out to make our own healthy version. Ours is vegan—we wanted to satisfy everyone in our family including the vegetarians!

Most ramen recipes are made with pork or chicken broth. Instead, we use vegetable broth along with dried mushrooms, miso paste, and tamari sauce which gives this soup that savory umami flavor. Filled with tons of vegetables—baby bok choy, carrots, mushrooms, baby spinach, and scallions—and bite-size pieces of tofu along with those delicious ramen noodles makes this soup so flavorful and satisfying.

Separated scallions Ramen soupIMG_2193Separate the green and white parts of the scallions.

Cooked tofu Ramen soupIMG_2178We roast the tofu on parchment paper for 20 minutes.

Soup cooking goodWe add all the vegetables and then simmer for 15 minutes.

Ramen noodles for Ramen soupIMG_2188The ramen noodles are cooked separately, then divided into bowls, and topped with the broth, vegetables, and green scallions.

Vegan Ramen Soup With Tofu
4 to 6 servings

One 12-to 14- ounce package extra firm organic tofu, patted dry and cut into 3/4 – 1-inch cubes
10 ounces ramen noodles
2 tablespoons white miso paste
2 tablespoons tamari sauce
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons organic sesame oil
1/2 cup chopped Spanish onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced ginger
6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes, drained, then roughly chopped
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (green and white parts separated)
3 carrots, cut into slices on the diagonal
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound baby bok choy, trimmed, leaves separated
2 ounces baby spinach
Sriracha sauce (optional)

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Arrange the tofu in a single layer on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, flipping once halfway through. Remove from the oven and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the noodles according to the directions on the package. Drain and rinse under cold water and set aside.

Wisk together the miso paste and tamari sauce and set aside.

In a large pot, heat the olive and sesame oils over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of vegetable broth and stir for 2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, white scallion slices, and carrots and cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the remaining 5 cups of vegetable broth and 2 cups of water. Add 1/4 teaspoon of pepper, the miso and tamari mixture, and stir to incorporate.

Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Add the bok choy, spinach, and tofu and simmer for 15 minutes.

Divide the noodles into individual serving bowls, top with the soup and vegetables and garnish with the green scallion slices. Pass the sriracha separately.

Second finished ramen platedIMG_2212

 

Cream of Tomato Soup

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Cream of Tomato Cover Pic

Cream of tomato soup is the ultimate comfort food. We especially like it paired with an even more comforting grilled cheese sandwich. The wonderful thing about this soup is that it is a favorite with both kids and adults alike. It also looks very elegant in a beautiful white bowl served as a starter for company.

We like to make up a huge batch of chicken stock to freeze and use when preparing soups. This makes any soup a great quick last minute weeknight meal. Here, we have prepared it with canned tomatoes but in August, when tomatoes are at their peak, this soup is absolutely dreamy!

Tomato Soup Side by Side

 

Tomato Soup With CreamCream of Tomato Soup
4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
5 cups organic low-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
One 15- ounce can peeled tomatoes in juice, crushed with a fork or the back of a wooden spoon
3 sprigs thyme leaves
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons dry sherry
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons crème fraiche
1 tablespoon chopped chives
Croutons, about 4 or 5 per bowl

Heat the butter and olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, and cook, stirring for 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring an additional 2 minutes. Pour in the broth, tomatoes, and the thyme. Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Remove the thyme sprigs and transfer the soup from the saucepan to a food processor or blender and puree, in small batches, until smooth. (As an alternative you can use a handheld immersion blender and blend the soup right in the pot.) Return the soup to the saucepan, turn the heat to medium-low, add the heavy cream, the sherry and stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Garnish with a dollop of crème fraiche, a sprinkle of chives, and four or five croutons. Serve hot.

Shrimp and Kale Hot Pot

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Hot Pot

We must admit that we’ve fallen in love with hot pots. These one-pot dishes encourage all sorts of variations to fit a range of tastes and diets, and they make getting dinner on the table so easy since protein, vegetables, and a starch are all right there in one dish. We’ve chosen shrimp for our hotpot because these little crustaceans have always been our family’s favorite seafood. We love how sweet and succulent they are, how super quickly they cook, and how deliciously they absorb a multitude of flavors. Since a fragrant broth is key to a successful hot pot, we lightly sauté the shrimp and the vegetables for an added depth of flavor. Then we toss an abundance of baby kale, our newest obsession, into our broth. These tiny leaves are nutrient dense, packed full of vitamins and minerals. To finish the soup we garnish it with crunchy Persian cucumbers and a spritz of lime to brighten the flavors.

Those who are not fond of shrimp can easily substitute cubes of tofu, or strips of beef or chicken to the dish, and if kale is not to your liking you can use broccoli florets, asparagus, bok choy, or Napa cabbage.

The vermicelli noodles are gluten free, so this is a lovely soup for those on a gluten-free diet. And this heady, Asian- inspired soup is comforting on a chilly summer evening, yet light and airy for a hot and humid August day.

We’re aware that shrimp once had a bad rap for being high in cholesterol, but the thinking on that has changed. Recent studies have shown that the bad cholesterol in shrimp is balanced by good cholesterol, so now shrimp are prized for zero saturated fat, high protein content, as well as omega-3 fatty acids and an abundance of vitamins and minerals.

mise en placeHere’s our mise en place, with everything washed, cut, and measured.

shrimpQuickly and lightly sautéed shrimp.

Shrimp and Kale Hot Pot
4 servings

4 ounces rice stick vermicelli noodles
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 pound large shrimp (15 to 20 per pound), peeled and deveined
2 cups shitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3/4 cup carrot, coarsely grated
4 cups organic low-sodium vegetable broth
3 tablespoons organic low-sodium soy sauce
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cups baby kale, tightly packed
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 small red hot chili pepper (or to taste), sliced
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
1 Persian cucumber, diced
1 lime, cut into wedges

Place the noodles in a large mixing bowl and completely cover them with boiling water. Let stand for 3 to 5 minutes, until soft but still firm. Drain, and set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.   When shimmering, add half the shrimp in a single layer and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until just pink, being careful not to overcook. Remove with tongs to a paper- towel lined plate. Repeat with the remaining shrimp.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the pan, and when shimmering add the mushrooms and cook over medium-high heat until the mushrooms are golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and carrots, and cook, stirring, an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the vegetable broth, 2 1/ 2 cups of water, the soy sauce, 1 /2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/ 8 teaspoon of pepper, and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat to simmer, stir in the baby kale, rice vinegar, sesame oil, chili pepper, and noodles and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and scallions and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.

Ladle the soup into individual bowls, garnish with the cucumbers, and serve with the lime wedges.

finished soup